October 7, 2015
AAC&U is leading this project in a purposeful way. We intend to collaborate with the state teams as we use common frameworks and tools that are nationally available and that are designed precisely to support the work of educators for student success at a large scale.
The national projects are all related to LEAP. They are the Degree Qualifications Profile, Tuning, VALUE Multistate Collaborative, and GEMs. All of these initiatives encourage faculty to use high-impact practices--or HIPs. We have support from Lumina Foundation to introduce these tools and frameworks to larger numbers of faculty than we have reached before through AAC&U.
AAC&U has co-sponsored the VALUE Multistate Collaborative Project http://www.aacu.org/value/msc with SHEEO, the State Higher Education Executive Officers' organization: http://www.sheeo.org/projects/msc-multi-state-collaborative-advance-learning-outcomes-assessment
This Faculty Collaboratives project intends to create a large community of practice that can work heartily and effectively with the resources of these proficiency initiatives. That takes us to the state teams in the project. If you would like to learn about communities of practice, drawing on the work of Etienne Wenger, please see http://cpo.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/seven-principles-for-cultivating-communities-of-practice.pdf
Each state team is figuring out how to work with these big national proficiency projects in a way that is responsive to the needs and culture of the local campus community and the state but nonetheless connected and collaborative. We know, for example, that many students transfer and take courses online. If faculty are working effectively together across institutions, we will do a better job of working with today's mobile students. We will also have a way to share expectations and learning outcomes without standardized testing or standardization. The same is true for student learning and assessment in a program like general education. Collaboration fosters connected learning. It helps educators see where "my" course fits in "our" curriculum. In other words, we can share tools and frameworks to align curricula and programs across institutions and at the same time respect program and institutional independence and academic freedom.
If you have questions about any of these claims and objectives, you are welcome to post a question here or write to Susan Albertine at firstname.lastname@example.org